Workplace health promotion or wellness programs are becoming more common. But many companies are afraid they’re too small to support a comprehensive program or believe such a program will cost too much. And even if they get past those barriers, they may not know precisely how to create successful wellness program.
To address these issues, the non-profit Transamerica Center for Health Studies partnered with the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to release From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works, an evidence-based, straightforward workplace health promotion guide for employers.
The guide offers easy to use, real world recommendations on the design, implementation and evaluation of workplace health promotion programs. Employers can use the guide to implement best and promising practices in their workplaces, thus maximizing the impact of their program and the benefits to employees and the business alike.
Most of the recommendations in the guide are easy and free or very low cost to implement, such as encouraging people to take the stairs rather than the elevator, and have been shown to have significant positive health impacts. Other recommendations, such as whether to provide monetary incentives to program participants, give employers the flexibility to determine what’s financially appropriate for their workplace.
The first section of the guide explains the steps to implementing programs that address common individual risk factors, including physical activity, healthy nutrition, smoking cessation, stress management and more. It covers the importance of and business case for targeting these risk factors before providing a step-by-step guide to planning, implementing and assessing the program.
The second section focuses on organizational level factors, such as leadership commitment and support, strategic communications, employee engagement, etc. It also includes interviews with employers who’ve built successful wellness programs that have benefited both their employees and their businesses.
OHS Insider has additional resources to help you implement a wellness program in your workplace or convince senior management to do so, including:
- A study that suggests wellness programs may lead to improved worker health, increased productivity and reduced costs for employers
- The benefits of wellness programs for small companies
- Model Wellness Questionnaire
- Checklist for evaluating your readiness for an integrated OHS and wellness program.